A greenstone – Jadeite

What does it look like?

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

Image generated by the VESTA (Visualisation for Electronic and STructual analysis) software http://jp-minerals.org/vesta/en/

What is it?

Jadeite is from a family of silicate minerals, called pyroxenes, which are distinctive for their single chains of silicate tetrahedra (the blue shapes with red oxygens in the corners).  This particular mineral has sodium (gold) and aluminium atoms (light blue) between the layers.  Pyroxene minerals are an important part of the Earth’s crust and mantle, and are found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Gem quality jadeite is only one of the two materials that are known as Jade, the other being nephrite

Where did the structure come from?

Jadeite is structure #9000143 in the open crystallography database.

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